The Sustainable Cities IAP has the goal to foster development of sustainable cities that are cleaner, more efficient, resilient, and prosperous with global environmental benefits. The specific objectives are to demonstrate innovative models of sustainable urban management through integrated urban policy and strategy support and piloting of high impact options, and to foster replication through partnership and sharing of lessons learned
There are some good, compelling reasons for the GEF to enhance our support and engagement in the urban space, through this innovative, integrated approach pilot.
We are cognizant that this is a crowded space, with quite a number of excellent institutions and existing approaches. We also see a clear need to help cities and national governments integrate efforts and also move towards more holistic management of global environmental issues. In other words, there is an urgency to integrate global environmental considerations and resilience into city management through planning, design, and action.
We think now is a unique catalytic opportunity. We are a partnership-based organization, and quite small. We see an enormous convergence of interests and strengths here, where we could work with you. GEF’s assistance would not duplicate existing efforts, but rather help integrate efforts towards greater impact.
In some of the multilateral environmental conventions, the role of the subnational governments is becoming better recognized. But much action to address these global goals need to take place at cities. So we think this approach is an innovative way to also help support the goals of these conventions in a more effective and catalytic way.
The IPCC finds the merit of integrated, multiple policy options for urban, yet there is only a limited number of plans that address cross-cutting, systemic approach for urban. Also, IPCC mentions that places that have the largest urban mitigation potential (before lock-in) are the very places that have limited governance, technical, financing, and policy capacity – this is an area that concerted public sector efforts, with support from the GEF, is strongly warranted.
Helping the world’s cities move toward enhanced sustainability is one the most impactful ways to address local and global environmental threats. The GEF can help define that road map, specific to individual cities as well as collectively at a global scale, and help measure and share genuine progress.
In this spirit, the IAP will support a common platform, which consists of sustainability plans and a set of tools that underpin the plan development and implementation with common metrics. The common platform catalyzes the numerous partners now working on urban issues and supports the pilot with a few key cities willing to enter into an iterative, ‘organic’ network program. It is designed to bring about the enormous potential cities possess to reduce local and global environmental degradation, while developing robust, resilient and equitable economies and communities.
The sustainability plan is a clear, rolling plan that provides in one place, an agreed and vetted assessment of the challenges and opportunities facing the selected pilot city/urban area. The sustainability plan is to be consistent with existing ones spearheaded by partners, for example ICLEI Local Agenda 21, Cities Alliance City Development Strategy, and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Urban Infrastructure Initiative, and will be tailored to also address global environmental concerns. The sustainability plan would have a short-term horizon consistent with GEF’s 2020 strategy as well as a longer-term horizon to 2050.
The tools are used to help cities develop and implement the sustainability plans. It is important for the IAP to agree and use the common set of tools, so that diagnosis that the participating cities and partners arrive to is agreed by all, and can be compared across cities and over time. Four potential tools are currently identified so far (in next slide). We are open to additional tools.
Here are four potential tools are currently identified so far, to be discussed further among the partners. We are open to additional tools.
At this point, what is important is not necessarily the specific tools identified here per se, as the list will likely evolve. As mentioned earlier, the important point is that there is an agreement among all partners to agree and use the common set of tools, so that diagnosis that the participating cities and partners arrive to is agreed by all, and can be compared across cities and over time.
The proposed framework for this IAP will have both the global and national/city level components.
The chapeau is the global element, with coordination – here, we will see the development and application of the common platform, with a set of tools and common metrics to be applied to all the country/city projects. Also, the IAP will support knowledge management, capacity building, and sharing of lessons learned – we envision participation of countries/cities that are the pilot countries-cities as well as of those who may not have a specific pilot role but nevertheless may wish to learn from the IAP. We want to make sure that the IAP can facilitate the “thought leadership” on the subject of sustainable cities, with global environmental benefits.
The World Bank is likely to take the lead agency role, in cooperation with a number of GEF Agencies that are active in the urban arena.
The IAP will also support a number of At the country/city level projects – the idea is to support integrated urban planning and management, with implementation of a number of priority interventions on the ground.
Similar to the Commodities and Food Security IAP, this IAP is also following a process of program development, aiming for submission to the GEF Council next spring.
Integrated Approach Pilot
IAP 3: Sustainable Cities
Urgency to integrate global
environmental considerations and
resilience into city management through
planning, design, and action
Supporting goals of Multilateral
Going beyond traditional, single GEF
focal area project
GEF-6 Proposed Sustainable Cities Integrated
Recognizing need to address urbanization as key driver of global
environmental degradation and opportunity
Sustainable Cities IAP
An iterative, organic network program to
bring together institutions and to encourage
1. Sustainability plan
• Clear, rolling plan that provides an
assessment of challenges and opportunities
at cities/metro area
• Consistent with those spearheaded by
• Inclusion of global environmental benefits
• Underpinning sustainability plan development
• Partners and participating cities to agree to
use same set of tools and metrics
Possible Tools for Common Platform to
Connect Urban Action to Global Impact
1. Common metrics and a consistent terminology, such as those
included in ISO 37120 and the C40-ICLEI-WRI greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions inventory;
2. Quantifying energy and material flows through urban
metabolism assessments – resource efficient cities;
3. Identification of a hierarchy of urban management that
prioritizes service provision, increasing resilience and
decreasing emissions and environmental impact;
4. Identification of local and global system boundaries,
consistent with the tenets of sustainable development and
key limits such as climate change and biodiversity.
Sustainable Cities IAP
* Application of common platform, with a set of tools and common metrics
and sustainability plan for country/city sub-programs
* Knowledge management, good practice, sharing of lessons learned
Each sub-programs with:
• Integrated policy/strategy
• Priority initiative
• Financial mechanism
piloting (with partners)
• Partnerships and sharing
Country/city B Country/city C Country/city D
Sustainable Cities IAP Process
• Consultative meeting
• Announcement at UN
SG’s Climate Summit
• Common platform
• Country component
• Results framework
• Resource allocation
Submission to GEF
• Update to GEF Council
• Technical clearance
• Work Program
• Updates to GEF Council
• Sharing of lessons
• Review to derive findings
Total: $55 million from CCM, SFM and non-grant set asides
• $10 million for global/regional programs
• $45 million for country programs, to be matched 1:1
with STAR country allocations
for more information on the Sustainable Cities IAP